I thought I’d continue from my last blog piece talking about heavy current injection earth testing by talking about a key application where it can potentially deliver much better results than the modern CDEGS approach on your earthing arrangements.
Many industrial sites were built in the 1950s and 60s as industrialisation grew. This, in line with the expansion of the electrical grid, led to a huge program of electrical substation construction around the world. What this means is that some of us own the responsibility of managing sites with ageing transformers, assets and equipment which were designed to obsolete standards and knowing what hazard this presents today, is simply not known.
We’ve already spoken about the changes in modern earthing standards in other articles:
So, it’s clear that these legacy site earthing arrangements won’t comply with modern standards.
Often, detailed construction information either wasn’t documented or has been lost or destroyed through expansion, acquisition etc. For these sites, especially in built-up areas, it’s really challenging to build an accurate CDEGS model to determine whether the site’s earth system is keeping the people that work there safe.
Most of our blog pieces talk about the advantages of CDEGS and other modern computational tools for designing earthing arrangements. However, the computational approach relies on the quality of input data – i.e. garbage in = garbage out. We need to measure the local soil resistivity, and we need accurate drawings of the earth electrode from site. Sometimes it’s just not possible to track down this sort of information, hence my blog title today – How do I know what’s happening with my ageing earthing arrangements?
For these sites, in particular, using a planned maintenance outage for heavy current injection earth resistance measurements is an absolute no-brainer. Modern measurement techniques allow us to directly measure the true earth resistance of the site, as well as directly measuring step and touch voltages, without the in-depth data gathering exercise required to build a CDEGS model. This information can be used to determine if the site presents a safe electrical environment for the people working there. If the measurements identify hazardous areas, a small, focussed, design task can be performed, rather than developing an exhaustively accurate model for an entire site.
This measurement process equally applies to substations in built-up areas where traditional fall-of-potential measurements are impractical.
If you want to get rid of the uncertainty surrounding whether the people working in and around your substations are safe, why not get in touch using LiveChat below, or the contact us page to see how we can help you.